The Price of Love

October 24, 2019

The Price of Love

By Russell George

Love has a price. There is cheap love and expensive love. The price of love doesn’t have a Dollar sign on it. It is determined by how much it costs us in terms of effort.

Let’s start with cheap love. To say it is cheap doesn’t mean that it isn’t genuine. It most often is genuine, but it is cheap because it comes easy.

It is the kind of love that has its beginning in a young couple when they start dating. It is exciting. They find in each other an attraction. For them, to be together is a pleasing experience. When they say good by at the end of each date they start counting the hours and minuets until they can be together again. The more they learn about each other, the more desirable qualities they see in one another.

It is cheap love because it takes little effort for them to love one another. The only sacrifice they make is that of keeping their desires within the bounds of moral limitations. There is a difference between lust and love. Lust is to give into the sexual desires that each one is capable of offering to the other. If their love is to develop into a pure, authentic relationship that will go on meeting their needs for a life time they will keep their love within the limits of a moral relationship. That gives them the strength to wait. Hebrews 13:4 says, “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.”

Once they are married, husbands are told that it is their duty to love their wives. Ephesians 5:25 says, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.” Likewise Titus 2:4 says, “That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children.” I often tell young couples, “If you each make a concerted effort to make your mate happy you will have a happy marriage.” If you love your mate, in turn your mate will love you. It doesn’t take much effort to love those who love us. That is cheap love, but it’s the best kind.

Again and again, in the Bible, we are told to love. In fact, Jesus said in Matthew 22:37-40, “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

Then there is expensive love. That is love that costs us something. Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:43-44 that we should even love our enemies. “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” That isn’t easy to do. We are more inclined to want to take vengeance on them, but Paul tells us in Romans 12:19, “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” In verse 20 he goes on to say, “Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.” That puts an end to hostility. In Romans 12:18 Paul says, “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” It is impossible to live peaceably with some people.

In marriage, there sometimes comes a time when love gets expensive. For example, suppose there is a woman who had a happy marriage for many years. However when her husband was in his 70s he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. As time goes on his condition worsens. He gets to the point where he can no longer be trusted with the check book. He doesn’t understand why and gets angry with her. He no longer respects her and doesn’t show affection for her that he did in past years. He does more and more irrational things. At church fellowship meals he says things that embarrass her. That is when love begins to get expensive.

I have seen a similar situation develop when a woman’s husband foolishly yields to a temptation and does something illegal. He ends up in jail. Sometimes women abandon their husbands because they don’t want to be identified with him. They are no longer willing to pay the price that genuine love demands.

Sometimes Alzheimer’s disease or physical handicaps bring a person to the point where their mate can no longer care for them. They have to be put in a care center. Many times he or she doesn’t understand why they have to be there. They want to go home. They feel like their mate is being unfair to them. That leaves their mate paying a high price to go on loving them.

In the marriage ceremony we commit ourselves to go on loving our mate “for better or for worse.” We always hope that the “for worse” time will never come. If it does, those with integrity go on paying the price of love. In gratitude for the many years of a happy relationship we need to go on loving our mate. Many times it’s not the fault of your mate that he or she can no longer meet your need of being loved. It’s costly to go on loving your mate when you get very little love in return.

I have great respect for those who go on loving when it gets expensive. If it should come to pass that you are called upon to give expensive love, and you do your duty, you will be greatly rewarded in heaven, if you are a child of God. Hebrews 10:34-36 says, “For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance. Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.”

There is also great love. Jesus said in John 15:13 “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’ That’s what Jesus did for us when he died on the cross. For him, it was expensive love. If we look at it from our side, it is cheap love we have for him. If Jesus was willing to pay that price for us, it shouldn’t take great effort on our part to love him. In I John 4:19 we read, “We love him, because he first loved us.” In gratitude for what God has done for us, we want to please him because we love him. In I John 5:3 it says, “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” That word “grievous” means to be heavy or burdensome. Christians don’t find it hard to surrender their will to God’s will because of the great love they have for him.

Sometimes, when I have presented the gospel to someone, they say, “I don’t think I could live the Christian life.” My response is to say, “Your right. You couldn’t. But if you will trust in Christ for salvation it will give you a new reason for living.” Christians don’t find it hard to live the Christian life. They do so because they want to. If you put your faith in Christ for salvation it will open the door to an abundance of cheap love, but a love that is genuine and satisfying.


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